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Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, will appear before the High Court of Durban on Friday to defend corruption charges leveled against him dating back to a fraught Dollars 2.5 bn arms deal in the mid-1990s.

Former president Jacob Zuma's court case has been postponed to 8 June.

He faces 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering.

His supporters descended on the city to rally for him, while his critics think court action is long overdue.

Addressing the crowd, Mr Zuma said he was being persecuted for being a champion of radical economic transformation.

He then led the crowd in song and dance.

The manufacturer of arms from France will also be held with corruption charges.

Zuma, who denies any wrongdoing, is mounting a legal challenge against the decision to prosecute him over his role in the $2.5 billion arms deal.

In the dock with him will be his co-accused, French Arms dealer, Thales SA. His financial adviser at the time was found guilty of soliciting those bribes in 2005 and Zuma was later sacked as deputy president.

The charges were set aside in 2009, paving the way for Zuma to run for president, but were re-instated in 2016.

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In a meeting of the wounded, Zuma's political allies from various ANC structures packed the small venue.

Zuma, who was ousted as Head of State, attended a brief preliminary hearing at the high court in Durban.

Many pro-Zuma supporters were dressed in African National Congress colours and waved party flags. They include: Willies Mchunu (premier of KwaZulu-Natal), Sihle Zikalala and Super Zuma.

"Our country's Constitution states that the accused is innocent until proven guilty", he said.

Zuma also pointed out that 13 years have passed since he last appeared in court for the same charges and blamed opposition parties for the case's return to court.

Many, he reports, see it as an era of impunity coming to an end.

Zuma's successor Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to crack down on government corruption, which he has admitted is a serious problem.

Mr Ramaphosa came in on a ticket of clean governance and his party can not afford another scandal.

Welcoming the news that Jacob Zuma was going to face prosecution, Archbishop William Slattery, spokesperson for the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference told the Catholic publication "America" it is "very hopeful that the wheels of justice are still turning in South Africa".